Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Charlie Stella is offering a reading service you can find more about here. I took immediate advantage of it.
I've had this book, RAISING THE DEAD, knocking around for three years. Clair Dickson read it and offered some great suggestions. So did James Reasoner and Elaine Ash. And I thank them all immensely. Also my writing group and especially Anca Vlasopolos, who immediately told me this was not a crime novel--but I didn't listen.
It took me until now, after I took advantage of Charlie's new service, to finally realize once and for all that it is not a crime story. It's dark all right but what isn't dark in Detroit.
Charlie found all the typos and unclear sentence--the usual stuff--but he also wrote a three-page single spaced analysis of what it was and what is wasn't. What worked for him and what didn't. This was amazingly helpful. It is now in the first person POV, which makes a quirky woman less irritating. I get inside her head more and I eliminated some of the clues, which said, "Well I am trying, but not so successfully, to write a crime novel."
He pointed out to be that he was nearly halfway through before it even occurred to him that it might be a crime novel.
I am now ready to re-pitch it as a straight novel. Period. I will not seek out agents who specialize in crime. They will only be disappointed.
Charlie didn't like the title RAISING THE DEAD, which I had used for it as a short story. Other people have said the same thing. If anyone else can come up with a better title that uses the word Detroit in it, I'd love to hear it. It's about a woman photographing the dead of Detroit.
Does THE DEAD IN DETROIT work for you? I just don't know. That still sounds too much like a crime story. Someone already used DETROIT NOIR. See how easily I drift back to packaging it incorrectly.
But do take advantage of Charlie's new reading service if you need some help. You won't regret it.